The Importance of Community
By Natalie Moncrief
“You won’t understand the unabashed power of community until you’re a part of one” ~Anonymous
Communities play an important role in every aspect of our lives. Being part of a community can make us feel as though we are part of something greater than ourselves. Community can be defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” A strong community has unanimity toward common goals and being part of a strong community means being part of a group of people who want to help each other reach those goals. A strong community is a place of opportunity for growth and experience. With a network of people looking out for your best interests and working together, there is no shortage of opportunities to strive for what you want.
In an age where technology can provide a false sense of connection, a local community can greatly benefit our well-being and increase our contentment in day-to-day life just by being able to be with people one-on-one. When taken in the context of daily stress, struggles, and the chaos of modern life, spending quality time with people who enhance your life, not detract from it, can be a lifesaver.
When looking to join a community, or if you are already part of a community, it should provide the following benefits:
Inspiration and Motivation – Community members act more like a team, edging each other on to successful outcomes and encouraging each other to go harder and achieve bigger goals. If you feel part of something bigger than yourself, you’re far more likely to follow through and achieve what you set out to do…especially knowing that you, in turn, could be an inspiration for someone. Everyone brings a unique aspect to the community and recognizing your role and contributions to the group can improve everyone’s experience.
Shared Lessons – Why reinvent the wheel? There are people you can learn from and those who can learn from you. Whether it’s learning from each other’s mistakes and/or successes or something as simple as sharing a recipe, this is an incredibly powerful platform from which you can improve your experience and the lives of others.
Network of Support – There are times in life when you need a particular service, advice, support, or understanding. Communities are rich in resources because we are all members of various communities (family, work, neighborhood, etc.). When you are surrounded by a strong community there is bound to be someone who can help you out or just share your celebratory moments. The gift of community is that it offers a place of support, even on those days when we feel no fire.
Safety – A strong community is welcoming and provides an environment of safety and security. It should be a place where you can be yourself and actualize your highest potential without fear of judgment…and a place where you can fail forward.
Fun – Choose your community wisely! Find those people with whom you want to spend your time…people who are interesting, have a positive view, and are focused on changing the world for the better, even if it means starting with themselves. Surround yourself with people who will respectfully challenge, push, and drive you toward your goals.
While many people belong to communities for life’s necessities, they also want to be a part of them because there is something amazing about being part of a group of people who share something more substantial than geographical location…something they feel passionately about. Community is about growing with others and taking care of each other. By connecting with a community, great things can be achieved.